"Barney Oldfield's Race for a Life" is a short comedy directed by Mack Sennett. The film is included in our program to illustrate the contributions of Helen Holmes, a star of Silent Hall of Fame.
Barney Oldfield was the fastest auto racer in his time. In the film he chases an engine to rescue a girl chained to the tracks by an evil unsuccessful suitor.
The way Ford Sterling overplays the role of the villain makes one think that the film was conceived as a parody of contemporary melodramas.
This is one of the first roles of Helen Holmes, in which she plays a village beauty. She became the audacious star of "The Hazards of Helen" a year and a half later, acting as the heroine of numerous railroad adventures. She may have gotten inspiration from "Barney Oldfield's Race for a Life" and the race to save Mabel Normand.
Directed by Mack Sennett
Produced by Keystone Film Company
Starring Mack Sennett, Mabel Normand, Ford Sterling, Barney Oldfield, Helen Holmes
Cinematography Lee Bartholomew, Walter Wright
Distributed by Mutual Film Corporation
Release date June 3, 1913
Running time 13 min.
Country United States
Language Silent film, English intertitles
You can see a slideshow of stills from this film and other interesting stuff on our website silent-hall-of-fame.org.
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